Park City Treble Makers headed towards the EcoCenter
June 6, 2014
For nearly two years, the Park City Treble Makers, a 16-voice women’s a cappella ensemble, has entertained at socials, fundraisers and special events.
On Sunday, June 8, the group will present its first proper recital at the Swaner EcoCenter at 4 p.m. The concert will feature Broadway tunes, madrigal arrangements and barbershop numbers.
"This is the first time where people will come and sit down in chairs and listen to us, as opposed to them circulating in a room with a drink in one hand and something else in the other," said director Shelle Jennings. "We’re looking forward to it."
Jennings, Anne Collett and Joan Townsend took time at the Jennings household before rehearsals earlier this week to talk about the Park City Treble Makers.
The group is Collett’s brainchild.
"This is an idea that I had for several years before it came to be," Collett explained. "I called some women I knew from other groups that I have sang with over the years and asked them if they might be interested in joining."
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Collett called Jennings to see if she was interested.
"She was very excited about this and we both determined that we needed to hold auditions," Collett said. "We did that in August of 2012."
The group is comprised of four first sopranos, four second sopranos, four first altos and four second altos.
"This has surpassed my vision," Collett said. "I am extremely excited to have come through at least two years in performing. I couldn’t have asked for anything better."
A big part of that is the camaraderie.
"We know the people who are in this group and have sung together in one form or another in the past," Townsend said.
Keeping the ensemble small was a goal from the start, to keep things simple.
"This isn’t a big 50-voice choir, although all of us love to sing with big groups," Jennings said. "But it’s easy to get lost in, especially if you don’t get along with the other singers. So, in addition to having a good voice, it is important that we work well together and have fun."
Jennings said the group is more like a family.
"I know that sounds hokey and cliché, but we’ve all grown in our two years together," she said. "We’ve had people who have suffered deaths or breakups in their personal lives.
"We’re also of a certain age, even though we’ve had a member as young as 25, but the group takes in a certain personality."
In addition, there is a level of commitment that is expected.
"I haven’t seen this kind of dedication in other groups I’ve been in," Collett said. "Shelle gets the best out of us when we’re all here."
"They come because we have refreshments," Jennings said with a laugh. "We work hard and then the bar is open and we have water and juice."
Joking aside, the group members have found creative ways to attend rehearsals even if they are out of town.
"During the first six weeks of this year, I attended rehearsal via Skype," Townsend said. "We also had another one of us join us through Skype from Hawaii."
"We’re all ladies who jump through hoops to come to my dining room that we call a rehearsal hall on Monday afternoons," Jennings said. "Most all of us are employed in some way or another. This is a gift they give themselves."
The music is also another motivator.
"I start by deciding if we want three-part or four-part harmonies," Jennings said. "The second thing I do is I try to get as much secular works as sacred works. Then I take two to three hours and go through music and get what I like."
The material usually isn’t drawn-out choral works, either.
"I don’t see us doing big and long works, but I do, however, see us increasing our repertoire," Jennings said.
The idea for the Swaner EcoCenter concert sprouted from a book club that Jennings attends at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
"One of our members, Julie Crittenden, has done a lot of work at the Swaner EcoCenter and she contacted me in March and said the book group would like to do something for us" Jennings said. "She said the group would help organize a concert and provide the refreshments."
Jennings and Crittenden met with Sally Tauber, director of development at the Swaner EcoCenter, and decided on the date.
"I then went to the singers and asked the gals if they were interested," Jennings said.
The concert will last around an hour and include snacks provided by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
"We will perform inside and, hopefully, depending on the weather, they may set up the refreshments on the back deck so we can all see the sandhill cranes and their babies," Jennings said.
"The Swaner EcoCenter has been so accommodating," she said. "Sally has been remarkable, and has been very encouraging to us and a friend of the Park City Treble Makers."
"This is one of the few opportunities we have as a group to open ourselves up to anyone who wants to come and listen," Townsend said.
The Swaner EcoCenter, 1258 Center Dr. at Kimball Junction, will present the Park City Treble Makers, a 16-voice female a cappella choir, on Sunday, June 8, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Sally Tauber, firstname.lastname@example.org or 435-797-8939.
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